The Mwadui Community Diamond Partnership, Tanzania | Print |

The Mwadui Community Diamond Partnership (MCDP) pilot project was initiated in Tanzania in August 2006. Its overarching goal is to alleviate poverty and improve the health and wellbeing of small-scale informal diamond mining communities around the Williamson mine at Mwadui, which is operated by Williamson Diamonds Limited. The partners in the project are De Beers, Williamson Diamonds Limited, the government of Tanzania–represented at national, regional and district level–and the local communities.

The Mwadui Community Diamond Partnership works through socio-economic development partnerships, the identification of sustainable alternative livelihoods, organisational and technical support to help formalize sustainable small-scale mining activities, and the design and implementation of innovative technology.

The partnership is exploring a “smart wallet” system that, if feasible, would facilitate mobile community banking and financial inclusion at the local level. Supported by appropriate development projects and capacity building, it should bring transparency and justice into the way that informal diamond diggers are remunerated for their work.

The use of such innovative technology should help transform relationships currently based on obligation and indebtedness into those based on directly paid fair prices for diamonds recovered by informal small-scale mining.

The project will be led by the government of Tanzania and De Beers in the first two years, in cooperation with local community groups. At the time of reporting, partnerships with local organisations, donor agencies and international sponsors are being developed. It is acknowledged that the partnership has to take an integrated approach towards promoting sustainable enterprises for small-scale diamond mining. Therefore, the project will also address HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention and management as well as local capacity building, for the benefit of these diamond mining communities.

Diagnostic work being undertaken at the time of reporting will also look at the transfer of assets of Williamson Diamonds Limited to the local authorities. This includes the former dairy, school and technical training college and the expansion of existing medical facilities to cover the broader local community.

 

Contact details:

Nerys John,

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